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The Flower Master

Author: Massey, Sujata Set In . . .
 Asia, Japan, Tokyo
Genre: Mystery
Time Frame: 1990s
Published: 1999
Description: Rei Shimura, a California girl living in Tokyo, has an antiques business that's only slightly more successful than her love life. When her aunt enrolls her in the Kayama School of Ikebana to learn how to arrange flowers, disaster strikes. A mean teacher is found with scissors in her neck, and Takeo Kayama, the sexy billionaire heir to the school, considers Rei's aunt the main suspect.

Rei strives to prove her aunt's innocence but becomes enmeshed in a web of upper-class ladies, edgy environmental protesters, and young immigrants trying to make it in one of the world's most exciting and expensive cities. As danger rises, clues are sent to Rei in haiku poems that hint her family played a role in an old Kayama School tragedy that threatens not just her romantic future with Takeo--but her own life.

Booklist called THE FLOWER MASTER "a totally captivating experience." School Library Journal recognized it as a "rich, robust read," and Amazon praised Rei as "a lively protagonist who brings the reader along for an entertaining, subtle lesson in Japanese culture, as well as the dangers in digging up buried family secrets." This novel won the Macavity Award for Best Traditional Mystery and was a finalist for the 2000 Agatha Best Mystery Award.
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